The vitality and energy of Historic Cedarburg’s downtown shopping district has been enhanced by well-attended annual festivals. Begun in 1973, Winter Festival and Wine & Harvest Festival have been successful in bringing thousands of visitors and residents alike to celebrate the charm and beauty of this beautiful downtown, named to the National Historic District in 1986. In 1985, Strawberry Festival was begun, while in 2005, the first Cedarburg Cycling Classic was undertaken and in July, 2008 the first annual German Festival, now known as Oktoberfest joined the list. In 2013, A Cedarburg Christmas was added to the line of up family-friendly entertainment.
Until 2001, community volunteers, Cedarburg’s retail merchants and non-profit groups, along with the Cedarburg Chamber of Commerce helped create and sustain festivals. In 2001, the festivals had grown so large, that for charitable purposes, a 501(c)3 organization was founded named Festivals of Cedarburg, Inc., with a board made up of eleven volunteer members and an Executive Director. The Festival Executive Director manages the day-to-day operations, and along with a Festival Manager and a Festival Coordinator, organize and execute the festivals. The Festival board, community and retail members participate as part of a Festival Committee that meets once a month at Cedarburg City Hall. This meeting is open to the general public.
Festivals of Cedarburg's mission is to plan festivals and events in the City of Cedarburg which enhance the vitality and economic well-being of the City while fostering civic, cultural and educational interests. Our retail and non-profit groups in Cedarburg benefit financially by their participation, enabling them to fund their own operations through Festivals' events. Some of those non-profit groups include the Cedarburg Garden Club, Cedarburg Cultural Center, Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts, Cedarburg Lion’s, American Legion, Mel's Charities, Scout Troops, Big Brothers and Sisters of Ozaukee County, Cedar Creek Settlement Merchant's Association, Ozaukee Art Center and area Churches to name several.